POP Burger: Pop and Drop
Pop Burger is a lot like Pringles potato chips – either you pop and you can’t stop or you desperately crave the traditional chip. The whole gimmick revolves around sliders instead of full-size burgers. For $5, you get a set of two mini-burgers, complete with toppings.
Why you would go here for anything other than burgers is beyond me, but the short menu offers not just the burger and cheeseburgers expected but also hot dogs, a crispy fried shrimp sandwich, salads, a grilled chicken sandwich, and a turkey burger. The cheeseburgers are what to get – little mini rounds of seasoned beef, gooey melted cheese, and thousand island dressing on crispy buns. No matter how you spin it though – eating sliders is an acquired taste. You either love the bird-like portions or you yearn for a big spillover patty on a soft full-size bun, loaded with long crispy slabs of bacon and huge tomato rounds.
Personally? I find sliders agonizing – too easy to eat and seemingly less food than a proper burger. Pop Burgers’ variety are frustratingly small, the size of a golf ball when it comes down to it. They get points in flavor and are painstakingly cooked to the right temperature (as evidenced by the extraordinary wait time for a fast food joint), yet I always leave unsatisfied, seeking more.
The psychodelic modern space suits its neighborhood, the Meatpacking District, well – attracting club-going hot young things, curious tourists, and hip locals. The open storefront is all white, with a walk-up counter for ordering, sparse contemporary tables, and tastefully applied neon lighting. From the street, everything purely glows a fresh bright white.
If you’re into the slider phenomenon, Pop Burger churns out a decent specimen quickly and cheaply – it’s a reformed White Castle without the sketchy atmosphere. The ample space makes it a good bet for late-night food binges with a big group and the cheap prices keep it in the running for an el-cheapo meal after work. Order a side of fries and a black & white shake to complete the scene.